Firefighters will be offering free fire safety checks, smoke alarms and CO detectors to boats using the Grand Union Canal in Leighton on Bank Holiday Monday.
Between 2pm and 4pm, firefighters will visit boats moored at Grove Lock, and those using the Grand Union Canal as it passes through Leighton Buzzard to help improve the fire safety of narrow boats and other canal vessels.
The initiative is part of Fire Boat Safety Week (May 25-31) and the fire service points out that while the number of boat fires on canals and inland waters is relatively low, when they do occur they quite often have devastating consequences.
Crew commander Richard Burton, of Leighton Buzzard Fire Station, said: “This is a good opportunity to help those using the waterways in and around Leighton Buzzard to be safer from both fire and CO poisoning. Boats are homes too and just as likely to have a fire as anywhere else people live.
“The dangers of a fire on-board are exacerbated because of the isolated location of moorings and canal routes which means they are hard to get to. Any fire on-board could potentially cause serious damage a boat and to surrounding property.
“Working smoke detectors help save lives by making those within a property aware of a fire so they can get to safety quickly and call the fire service to come to their aid, every home should have one.
“Also any property using a gas appliance or Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) is at risk from carbon monoxide and should also have a working CO detector to ensure this silent, invisible gas does not overcome the occupants.”
Home Fire Safety checks are available to those on solid ground too, just call 0800 043 5042 leaving your name, full address (including postcode) and contact number and the fire service will call you to make arrangements and provide you with a free smoke alarm.